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How will the SDGs for 2030 affect freight transport?

The 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in 2015 are global commitments to address social, economic and environmental challenges. The focus is on people, the environment, prosperity and peace. Sustainable mobility has a significant impact on freight transport and therefore plays an essential role.

From the energy transition to efficient logistics infrastructure and mobility-oriented urban planning, sustainable transport measures will bring about positive change toward a more equitable and environmentally friendly future.

In this article, we explore how the SDGs will impact freight transport and what opportunities they offer to promote sustainable logistics.

What are the SDGs?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 goals divided into 169 targets aimed at addressing the most pressing global challenges such as poverty, inequality, climate change and equity.

One of the most striking aspects of the SDGs is their inclusive and participatory approach. According to the United Nations, in developing these goals, about 1 in 1,000 people around the world gave their opinion on what is most important to them in the“My World 2030” survey. This ensured that the goals truly reflected the concerns and priorities of society at large.

The SDGs are also characterized by their universal approach, as all countries, regardless of their level of development, must work together to achieve the goals set. This fosters a sense of shared responsibility and illustrates that global challenges require concerted action at the global level. In addition, they are intended to bring about a shift in the current development paradigm toward a sustainable model that integrates social, economic and environmental aspects in a balanced manner.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Source: https://www.cepal.org/es/temas/agenda-2030-desarrollo-sostenible/objetivos-desarrollo-sostenible-ods

How do the SDGs for 2023 affect the world of transport?

The SDGs have significant implications for the world of transport, as they are intended to promote a more sustainable and efficient approach to the sector.

Here are some of the ways the SDGs can impact the world of transportation.

Sustainable transport

The SDGs promote efficient and accessible public transportation systems and clean modes such as electric vehicles.

Accessibility and equity

They are designed to ensure access to affordable and safe transportation for all people, including rural communities and people with disabilities.

Energy efficiency and emissions reduction

SDG 7 aims to provide access to affordable, secure, modern and sustainable energy for all.

In the context of transportation, this means promoting the adoption of technologies and practices that increase the energy efficiency of vehicles and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and other transportation-related pollutants.

Road safety

Reducing road traffic fatalities and injuries is the goal of SDG 3, which includes practical road safety measures such as infrastructure improvements and traffic enforcement.

Innovation and technology

They promote the adoption of technologies and innovations in the transportation sector, including smart mobility solutions and the use of data to improve planning and efficiency.

What measures should be taken?

An efficient transportation system is essential to a competitive and resilient economy. Efficient movement of goods and people is a key factor for development, contributing to food security, education, poverty reduction, and inclusive growth. However, today’s traffic also has negative effects, such as CO2 emissions, air pollution, traffic congestion and accidents.

To achieve a sustainable transportation system, it is therefore necessary to:

  • The use of public transportation and active forms of mobility should be encouraged.
  • Promote electrification of transport.
  • Improvement of urban planning.
  • Implement traffic management measures.
  • Promotion of sustainable logistics.

In addition, a life-cycle perspective should be integrated into transportation solutions to assess their environmental and social impacts at all stages.

These measures will contribute to safe, accessible and environmentally friendly transport and promote equitable and sustainable economic and social development.

How to deal with these changes proposed by the SDGs?

Introduction of green logistics

There is a need to research sustainable logistics methods that optimize freight transportation. This includes more efficient routes, the introduction of environmentally friendly packaging and the reduction of waste throughout the supply chain.

Promoting cooperation

Forming partnerships with other industry players provides an opportunity to share knowledge, experience, and best practices to develop new routes and modes that maximize efficiency and minimize environmental footprints.

In addition, through these alliances, joint investments in research and development can be made to find more efficient solutions for freight transport. A good example of such alliances is System Alliance Europe, a network of 45 logistics companies from 29 European countries, of which CretschmarCargo is a founding member.

Use of the technology

The use of fleet management systems and tracking technologies helps to improve logistics operations, which in turn helps to reduce waiting times and increase efficiency in the delivery of goods.

Priority for multimodality

Integrating different modes of transportation such as road, rail, and ship has a major impact on reducing congestion and CO2 emissions, as exploring and adopting multimodal transportation options can optimize routes and minimize unnecessary road trips.

For example, rail and ship are better suited for long distances and large volumes of goods, while road can be more efficient for short distances and the last mile.

Training and awareness

Training and awareness are key elements in promoting sustainable practices in freight transport. Training employees and partners on these practices not only equips them with the necessary knowledge, but also makes them aware of the importance of making informed environmental and social decisions.

In short, sustainability is no longer an option, but a key element in the decisions of individuals, organizations, businesses and economic policy .

It drives economic, social and environmental development and lays the foundation for a prosperous and equitable future. It is therefore particularly important that we all recognize the importance of sustainability in transport and work together to implement solutions that promote efficiency, competitiveness and the well-being of societies around the world.

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